Even The Washington Post‘s Food section this past week deployed the Beam o’ Racism. The front-page story was headlined: “Are ‘ethnic’ food aisles racist?”
That’s right. The ethnic food aisles of Safeway, Kroger, Harris Teeter and Giant are dark reminders of America’s unique evil.
Washington Post restaurant critic Tim Carman wrote the piece, inspired by a podcast from David Chang, “the chef and restaurateur at the helm of the Momofuku empire.” Momofuku operates 14 restaurants in North America.
Mr. Chang calls ethnic food aisles “the last bastion of racism that you can see in full daylight in retail America.” Lamenting the plight of “children of immigrants,” Mr. Carman says that visiting their local supermarket is a ticket to trauma.
“The sting occurs whenever they walk down the ‘ethnic’ food aisle, the section of the supermarket that, to some, plays out like a remnant of the Jim Crow era, when laws established separate facilities for African Americans in the post-Reconstruction South,” Mr. Carman writes.
Jim Crow was the work of Democrats, by the way. They resisted the passage of Republican-sponsored civil rights legislation even during the Eisenhower era and still promote abortion clinics in black communities. The party of the KKK was finally beaten in 1964, when a larger percentage of Republicans than Democrats voted for the Civil Rights Act and in 1965 for the Voting Rights Act.
For a detailed account, see “The Truth about Jim Crow” published by the American Civil Rights Union. Mr. Carman goes on, targeting the “Asian” and “Latino” food aisles, which constitute “de facto segregation, another kind of ‘separate but equal’ policy that marginalized African Americans for generations.”
Maybe he and Mr. Chang are right. Maybe placing cans of refried beans next to taco shells really is racist, regardless of how handy it is for shoppers who like Mexican food. Maybe the nativist supermarket clerks smirk with delight as they malevolently place chop suey next to soy sauce.